A New Phase of Reopening

Dear Mount Oak Family,

We are now entering a new stage in our long battle with the COVID-19 virus.  As the vaccine rolls out and conditions improve, state and county regulations are being eased, and more and more people are venturing out in hopes of resuming their normal lives.

What does that mean for Mount Oak Fellowship?  This is a time for carefully reopening our doors.  As human beings we are created to interact with other people.  As Christians, our lives are meant to be lived out in community.  Jesus often went off alone to pray but he spent most of his time in the company of his disciples.  For these reasons and more we look forward to joining together in worship and fellowship with greater freedom.

With that in mind the following changes are going into effect. 

  • As of this Sunday, March 14th, capacity at our 9:00 am traditional service is raised to 50% of the Fellowship Hall.  Inasmuch as our fellowship hall is a large building it is no longer necessary to pre-register to attend, but we will still be screening people at the door and requiring that masks be worn, and social distancing be practiced between family groups. 
  • Recognizing that among those who attend out contemporary service there is a greater reticence to worship indoors, outdoor worship will continue at 11:00 am and beginning on March 28th Asheley Clark and the praise team will begin to lead worship again.  Worshipers will again have the option of worshiping either inside their cars or outside of them.  We will continue to require that masks be worn when outside and that social distancing be practiced between family groups.
  • Online worship will continue though there may be some schedule modification.
  • Other groups – There are numerous groups and ministries that meet at the Mount Oak facility.  Each of these groups must balance the desire to resume face to face (or mask to mask) fellowship with the concerns of the group’s memberships.  For now, decisions about reopening will be made in accordance with local government regulations and on a case-by-case basis.
  • Finally, according to a recent Lifeway Survey, 91% of Protestant Christians express the intention to return to church. That is hopeful news, but even if this poll is accurate, everyone will not return at the same time.  This means that as conditions hopefully improve and people feel safer, Mount Oak will continue to make adjustments until we can return to normal.

In closing, I encourage everyone to commit themselves to faithfully following Jesus Christ and returning to church life with renewed commitment.  With this I also encourage everyone to get vaccinated and to continue to show caution.  We are coming through a long dark tunnel.  It would be a shame to let our guard down prematurely and crash, in sight of the light.

May God bless you, and please keep the church in your prayers.

Pastor Barnes

Mount Oak Fellowship of the UMC